On January 18th, 2021, the Ontario government announced they are investing $1 million from the Ontario Together Fund to help Peterborough’s Merit Precision manufacture bottles for hand sanitizers and disinfectants.
It was a major manufacturing coup for Peterborough & the Kawarthas, and, more importantly, provincial validation that the region’s focus on manufacturing collaboration is working and providing real economic impact.
The expansion of Merit Precision will create 10 new local jobs and help to retain 75 positions, while producing the vital products to support the fight against COVID-19.
Dan Bailey, Vice President and General Manager of Merit Precision said that the investment from the Province of Ontario couldn’t have happened without the teamwork and growth of Peterborough & the Kawartha’s growing Manufacturing Cluster.
“One of the life lessons we learn as our companies grow is that going alone is tough and risky, especially in the current environment. Teaming up with local companies and gaining trust opens opportunities that we would not otherwise consider,” Bailey explained. “Manufacturing Clusters are commonplace in other countries that have micro-economies in emerging market places like India and Africa, pooling their skills and resources for their local economies to be secure, and develop innovative solutions to issues that would not be realized.”
“We have seen large companies come and go here, where a head office in another country decides to make a move and shut manufacturers down in Peterborough, the beauty of these relationships and clusters is that Peterborough is the head office and invested in the community and provide ‘Made in Ontario’ supply chains,” Bailey added. “One of the strengths of Canadian-owned companies is the ability to innovate and pivot quickly, and nowhere does this better than Peterborough County.”
With Ontario’s support, Merit Precision is investing in two blow moulding lines, tooling and the necessary infrastructure to manufacture bottles. This investment will enable the company to provide locally produced bottles for hand sanitizers and disinfectants manufactured in Ontario by Peterborough-based Charlotte Products. Currently, Charlotte Products is facing the challenge of not having enough bottles to meet the growing demand for its cleaning products.
Bailey said he looks forward to working with Charlotte Products even closer and expanding the local Manufacturing Cluster into larger markets wherever they make sense.